I got the opportunity to sit down with Wildcat Forward Michael Ferreira before game one of the Cactus Cup Series to discuss the Sun Devil team.
As I waited patiently for Ferreira to get situated, I could sense his confidence as he entered the room. At that very moment there was no doubt that this series was going to be a good one.
I had to know, on a scale of 1-10, how confident was the Arizona forward? Twenty-eight straight losses to the maroon and gold couldn’t have been far off in his mind.
“I’m pretty confident,” he said. “We have been playing great hockey, and I think we are going to shock some people.”
“So that would be a complete 10, then?” I asked.
“Yes! We are definitely going to shock people.”
Taking a quick flashback to the last series played in Tucson in early November, Ferreira caused havoc for the Sun Devils.
“We gave one of their players, Jordan Young, a concussion and the next period it was just pretty much a gong show between the two teams trying to hurt each other. So it should be pretty exciting to see how tonight goes, especially in the first period,” Ferreira commented.
To the Wildcat’s fortune, they struck first in the first period. Andrew Murmes was awarded with the goal, in which Ferreira assisted.
Incidentally, I had asked Ferreira before the game how important it would be for UofA to score first.
“It would be huge, it’s a mental thing with us now,” Ferreira said. “So if we scored first it would just fuel our guys and I think it would be detrimental to them.”
The Wildcats ended up tacking on three unanswered goals before ASU even saw the back of the net. The UofA bench was radiating with energy and excitement.
“If you hit them, they fall,” one player said on the Wildcat bench. “Keep the momentum up boys, this will deflate them.”
To their dismay, it didn’t. ASU came out with their 29th straight victory against Arizona, where senior Darcy Charrois scored in overtime, winning the game in the last home series of his college career.
But that is not what the story is about. I asked Ferreira what he thought about ASU as a team.
“On the ice, I’d say I loathe them. Off the ice there are a couple of good guys on the team that I know,” he said. “They are a skilled organization and they have had our number for the past couple of years, but we really turned the corner this last semester and have been playing great hockey.”
“So explain ASU Hockey in one word,” I responded.
“Embarrassing,” he said.
We will see how things shape up tonight in Oceanside Ice Arena when the ASU seniors take the ice for their final time at home.